If one takes the “battlefield” to include all challenges, not just the challenge of a battle in a singular time and place, then this search is the mother of all searches.
We like to use the analogy of sailboat racing, something we learned from a video, DVD: THE ART OF RACING SAILING. This DVD begins with an inspection of the hull of the sailboat out of the water and the point is that the race is often won or lost BEFORE THE RACE EVEN BEGINS. If you have failed to assure a correct hull; if you have failed to train, equip, and organize the right forces for the right mission, if you have failed to understand the historical, cultural, and geographical reality you are entering into a context with; then no amount of excellence on the field itself will prevail.
The problem persists in which the military is generally the only competent agency in most countries at “mission-oriented” planning, programming, and budgeting, BUT militaries–and certainly the US military–are corrupt at the policy, acquisition, and even the operations level. At the tactical level the company commanders and the Information Operations (IO) teams are very competetent, have high integrity, and are completely helpless in the face of all the cummulative failures above them.
1992 Intelligence Preparation of the Battlefield: The Marine Corps Viewpoint is our core reference that in turn led to the first two books,2000 ON INTELLIGENCE: Spies and Secrecy in an Open World ; and2002 THE NEW CRAFT OF INTELLIGENCE: Personal, Public, & Political. Later we did2006 INFORMATION OPERATIONS: All Information, All Languages, All the Time and also, three years later to focus on the good of the Republic at large (with Congressman Rob Simmons (R-CT-02)),2006 THE SMART NATION ACT: Public Intelligence in the Public Interest.
You can see our current comments onThe U.S. Army/Marine Corps Counterinsurgency Field Manual
Below is a photo of individuals–Vice President Joe Biden not-withstanding–who have not been trained, equipped, or organized to make intelligent, relevant, achievable national security decisions. They simply do not know what they do not know, but worse, they have cut themselves off from all those who DO know. See the quote below the photograph.
The danger is, you’ll become like a moron. You’ll become incapable of learning from most people in the world, no matter how much experience they have in their particular areas that may be much greater than yours” [because of your blind faith in the value of your narrow and often incorrect secret information]
Daniel Ellsberg, SECRETS: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers (Viking, 2002), pages 237-239, recounting his meeting with Henry Kissinger and what he told him, fresh back from a field investigation in Viet-Nam.
Lest you think things have improved now that we spend $75 billion a year on the U.S. Intelligence Community, consider this:
80% of what I needed to know as CINCENT I got from open sources rather than classified reporting. And within the remaining 20%, if I knew what to look for, I found another 16%. At the end of it all, classified intelligence provided me, at best, with 4% of my command knowledge.
General Tony Zinni, USMC (Ret.), former Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Central Command (CINCCENT), as recounted to the author on 4 April 2006 by one of his Colonels, as published in2008 Open Source Intelligence (Strategic).
From our point of view, Intelligence Preparation of the Battlefield (IPB) is no longer about force on force in the context of the prevailing climate and terrain. IPB is now about everything, all the time, in constantly-changing real-time context, AND IPB demands decades if not centuries of proper prior planning (P3).
The chart below, and our three-part series 2009: Human Intelligence (HUMINT) Trilogy, are intended to help the next Administration–or Vice President Joe Biden if someone can break through to him–with respect to Grand Strategy, which is where IPB has its roots–with deep roots in Grand Strategy and all that implies in terms of P3, IPB is a rootless tree easily blown over regardless of–and often because of–the weight of the men and materials poured into the battlefiled.
For our larger vision, seethe short 2009 The Ultimate Hack: Re-Inventing Intelligence to Re-Engineer Earth (Forthcoming in Denmark 27-28 October 2009) and the longer2009 The Ultimate Hack: Re-Inventing Intelligence to Re-Engineer the World.
This entire web site and its two supporting web sites, and the existing books on2003 PEACEKEEPING INTELLIGENCE: Emerging Concepts for the Future ; 2008 COLLECTIVE INTELLIGENCE: Creating a Prosperous World at Peace and the two emerging books,Intelligence for Peace (PKI Book Two) and INTELLIGENCE for EARTH: Clarity, Diversity, Integrity, & Sustainability are all about IPB–Earth is our Battlefield, and we are losing….to ourselves.